Monday, April 2, 2018

Brief Visit To The Necedah Wildlife Refuge

It has been a long winter.  We didn't take any trips to warmer climates, and we didn't accomplish much of anything.  Every year I promise myself that I will do some of my long awaited projects in the dark days of winter.  Don't ask me what I did during this time, but I didn't get much done.  Today when I woke up, the weather person reported that we may get the biggest snowstorm of the season.  It has been a long winter time wise, but we really haven't had much snow or sub-zero temperatures.  I wanted to keep it that way, but alas it looks like we will get six inches of snow tomorrow.  I asked my husband if we could take a little ride before the snow hits.  We had a book on tape to finish so he was happy to go.  We decided to go the Necedah Wildlife Refuge area.  It is about an hour from our house.

This wildlife refuge was established in 1939.  It is 43,000 acres and is the breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.  It has the largest wetland bog in the state of Wisconsin.

As we drove into the refuge, the first observation deck came into view.  It was just a platform with a telescope looking out over a big prairie.  Off in the distance was a large nest on a platform.  It looked like an eagle's nest, but we didn't see any eagles.  In fact, the nest looked a little top heavy and looked like it was going to fall over.

We continued down the road until the road formed a Y.   The sign said the observation tower was to the right and the visitor's center was to the left.  We went right to the observation deck.  It was a short walk to the tower.

From the top of the tower you could get a birds eye view of the area.  Today the water was filled with ducks, geese and swans.

Next we went to the visitor's center.  It was an interesting building with lots of solar panels.  I didn't read all the information about the building, but it is definitely environmentally efficient.  This was the sign in the bathroom.

There were a lot of interactive exhibits.  You could hear bird sounds, see the footprint size of various animals, what the soil in a bog looks like as well as feel bear, wolf and beaver fur.  From the visitor's center there are walking trails.  One of the boardwalks has views of the bog and marsh from another angle.  The property has many other walking trails, but we need to come back for that.   It was too cold today.

There was a whooping crane sculpture.  This refuge is another whooping crane nesting area.  A number of years ago the nesting cranes here were infested with the black fly.  That is when they moved some of them to the White River area near our home.  We haven't see any cranes yet, although two were spotted in our area last weekend.

We didn't stay very long because it was getting cloudy and cold with a few snow flurries.  This is definitely a place to go back to when the weather is better.

I enjoyed the brief outing, however, when I got home I saw a setting very similar to the tourist attraction.  The sandhill cranes are still visiting their possible nest sight.

And when the cranes aren't there, the geese rest on the patch that was a muskrat house.

The deer were roaming around looking for something to eat.  They are looking a little rough and need spring as much as the rest of us.

It was a good day.  We ate at a mom and pop restaurant.  The kind of restaurant that has giant sized servings.  We each took home half our lunch so I don't have to cook tonight making it an especially good day.  Now lets hope that we don't get as much snow as predicted or if we do, that it melts very quickly.